People

Candidates in my Top 12

winning the crown 65th miss universe

Coronation Day is the most anticipated event in the weeks long 65th Miss Universe pageant activities. It’s when Tourism Secretary’s banner cry of “all eyes are on the Philippines” does come true. Two more days is it? Who shall it be this time? I’ve been polling friends about their bets and their replies are quite diverse. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The women are all beautiful and accomplished. A lot of them especially from countries where English is not the native language have been expressing themselves in English fluently. The candidates from Africa are regal, articulate and very modern. But everyone must’ve been feeling the pressure since day one of their arrival. They won’t let audiences see that of course. It goes to show how well prepared the women are for this. A challenge, surely, for the judges.

Based on quick and dirty personal assessment of beauty and the women’s personal journey to the pageant and why, I’ve come up with the following list of country representatives (apart from Miss Philippines of course as it’s kind of tricky to put oneself out there being the host and previous winner although if winning comes in threes why not?) in no particular order (except for Miss Indonesia, she’s really up there).

  1. Indonesia
  2. Kenya
  3. Tanzania
  4. Australia
  5. Nicaragua
  6. Venezuela
  7. Canada
  8. Colombia
  9. Argentina
  10. Curacao
  11. Aruba
  12. Thailand

Ha! I can’t wait to see who in my list coincide with that of the judges! With Sushmita Sen (single at 41!) in the panel, reputably among those in the pageant who gave one of the most charming and satisfying of answers to the trickiest of questions – what is the essence of being a woman? – responses will especially matter although as the pageant’s Q&A history indicates, it’s not about technical correctness of the reply but rather of the combination of compelling presence from day one, wit without sarcasm, honesty sans naivete or foolishness, “right” demeanor ie. not coming on too strong, it’s not for political office after all, and audience connection or charm without fakery. Not every woman can handle all that, spontaneously, on stage, knowing she’s being judged and graded.

On the other hand, if technical correctness is what we’re after with the pageant, that is, ‘universe’ to mean the country that’s now taking the universe by storm, shaping it culturally, politically, economically, technologically, then it’s (Miss) China. Next will be (Miss) USA, for renewed “populism” over newly-inaugurated President Trump whose decisions could build walls, isolate the country, against the rest of the world, and vice versa, sending allies running to China which should satisfy everyone rooting for “balance of powers.”). Third is (Miss) Great Britain, for Brexit and it’s yet unforeseen impact on the biggest regional collusion, EU, and vice versa, and eventually world trade. Fourth is (Miss) Republic of Korea whose capacities in R&D and technology are astounding but yet to bloom fully, and depending on the policies of it’s next President the country is poised to lead in the region and influence the rest of the world. Ranking for the rest of the country representatives will follow the same criteria.

Cheers to all the beautiful country representatives! Winners all! As the President has said, it’s an honor for the Philippines to host, for the third time, all the participating countries!

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